When this appeared my initial reaction before fully reading it was some excitement: Just what we want – a strong positive voice including from steel-workers – for UK’s steel industry to not just survive but thrive – by making the essential changes needed to reduce its huge emissions, instead of a stubborn head in the sand ignorance. Though tinged with my prior knowledge that steelworkers and/or their unions had shown (not surprisingly) that they feared job-losses at Port Talbot if the blast furnaces were merely swopped with EAFs. But if in addition to EAFs, H-DRI plants were to be built instead of blast furnaces, would they then let go of the blast furnaces?

Yes initially the report has instant appeal, but on closer examination my fears were realised: it’s a bit of a Trojan Horse for CCS to prolong use of at least some coal-fed blast furnaces:

I reckon the bad points in the recent Common Wealth online report ‘A test of mettle’ outweigh its good points, because text on p.16 and pp37-38 in particular, strongly and wrongly push for CCS. This is hardly surprising: unions want BF’s prolonged for as long as possible, and show no concern that prolonging/expanding coking coal mines abroad will do harm to people, wildlife and environment (harms Anne Harris points out in her recent article in The Ecologist).

In my view we should oppose the CCS route for prolonging coal-fed BFs, not just for our campaign vs Cumbria coal mine but also in solidarity with those fighting mines internationally. Even if CCS capture rate is 95% or more, some emissions may still occur, and even if hypothetically 100% capture rate – we have an ecological as well as climate emergency.

In its strong promotion of CCS it attacks Prof Allwood’s reports such as ‘Steel Arising’ without mentioning it by name. And it also goes against the MPI report that SLACC commissioned. (And against my comments on CCS in my www.bit.ly/steelnews)

Furthermore: CCCuk in their 6th Carbon Budget reports provide government several options of pathways to decarbonise UK’s steel industry, including a compromise pathway with a mix of coke-CCS and EAF, and a higher emissions “tailwinds” pathway with H-DRI and EAF. The “mettle” report thus wishes to rule out the “tailwinds” pathway with its steeper emissions reductions and instead favours the compromised pathway with less emissions reduction. This is in my view totally unacceptable, as it makes it even less likely that we will meet the Paris temperature goals.

On the other hand it strongly makes the good point that government/industry must change/invest in the steel industry for it to survive and thrive and provide jobs. It is unfortunate that it also gives well paid jobs a higher priority than both the climate and ecological crises and goes for a compromise. But compromises cannot be negotiated with the reality physics of climate change.

Sweden provides a much better example as I show in my blogpost Why the Steel industry doesn’t need Cumbria’s coal | henryadamsblog (wordpress.com). And Valentin Vogl shows this too in his Green Alliance blogpost (linked to in ‘Recommended reading’ in my blogpost).
What’s more, in around ten to fifteen years time the UK could purchase coal-free H-DRI from Sweden’s state-owned iron mining and processing company LKAB. This would surely be better for the climate (and probably also cheaper) than importing coking coal and iron ore and using CCS?

So I am strongly against the CCS route as of course it prolongs the use of coal (and would use government-supplied subsidy).
It is possible that CumbriaCC may use the CCS option to justify a need in the UK for their coal beyond 2035, but that would be putting political pressure against government/industry choosing the higher emissions reduction pathway. Also it would obviously be untenable as an argument for them because there’s no way they can influence whether coal to Europe would be to BF’s with CCS. Note that both the “mettle” report and WCM would cause higher emissions than otherwise possible if they get their way.

UK’s government has a unique opportunity this year as host and President of COP26 to lead by example to encourage other countries to commit to greatly reducing their extraction and consumption of fossil fuels this decade. This is urgently needed to give us a chance of keeping world average temperatures to within the temperature targets zone of the COP21 Paris Climate Agreement. At the moment we are heading to cross +1.5C around 2030 (to 2032), and nations have so far only pledged enough emissions reductions to do little more than prevent the rate of emissions increasing further by 2030.

However the UK government is throwing away this vital opportunity by failing to stop (and indeed to support) the proposed coking coal mine in Cumbria, and UK ambassadors are reporting that UK’s argument that the coal is for steelmaking not electricity generation is not being accepted by the countries who criticise Boris Johnson’s failure to stop the mine. I here briefly examine why this argument has no credibility.

Proponents of the Cumbria coal mine argue that UK-produced coal is needed by UK’s steel industry, and some argue there would be a market in Europe too. They use the false assumption that there will be no alternatives to coal for making steel at any significant commercial scale for decades. On the contrary we argue that much of Europe’s steel industry is already committed to reduce its use of coal this decade, and part of this will be by hydrogen replacing coking coal for producing fossil-free steel at commercial scale by 2030. UK steel-making can and must be decarbonised by 2035, or be left behind by the changes in Europe and beyond, that will result in stranded fossil assets here including the coal mine if it’s allowed to start. So the many jobs that the coal mine proponents use as a main political benefit of the coal mine – are unlikely to last for long if they come to exist at all.

Neither UK’s nor Europe’s steelmaking industry need Cumbria’s coking coal. Here’s a brief explanation why.

Firstly WCM plans to export 87% of its coal, and even the 13% for the UK may be halved because of its high (polluting) sulphur content: British Steel Scunthorpe state re WCM’s coal: “the Sulphur is however higher in comparison to comparable US coals we purchase”… “Sulphur is a constraining factor which currently limits the use of the coal.” And TATA Port Talbot can only use it as part of its blend. And there is no world shortage of coking coal. Thus UK’s steel industry has no “need” for WCM’s coal.

Secondly, because steel-making contributes about 7% of the world’s energy-related CO2 emissions due mainly to its use of coal, Europe’s steel-making industry is shifting away from coal to lower carbon alternatives this decade onwards, & UK’s remaining 2 sites that use coking coal & blast furnaces must change too or face closure. Mine objectors are keen for these changes to happen with urgency not just to reduce the huge CO2e emissions but also to save steel jobs and reduce harm to people and environment from coal mines in countries from which the UK imports.

Lord Deben, Chair of UK’s Climate Change Committee, wrote to government’s Robert Jenrick (SoS MHCLG) that “Coking coal use in steelmaking could be displaced completely by 2035, using a combination of hydrogen direct reduction [H-DR] and electric arc furnace [EAF] technology to meet our recommendation that UK ore-based steelmaking be near-zero emissions by 2035.” [Hydrogen can remove the oxygen from the iron oxide in iron ore to result in H20 instead of the CO2 from using coal].

Steel firms in Europe and beyond have committed to significant reductions in carbon emissions this decade in Europe typically by 25 to 30%, and to be carbon neutral by 2050. Sweden is setting an impressive example, with the new H2GS consortium planning to produce 5 million tons per year of ‘green steel’ using H-DR by 2030 starting production in 2024, and SSAB 1 million tons per year from 2025/6 using H-DR, and also replacing 2 blast furnaces with EAFs. For these and other examples see bit.ly/steelnews

The UK exports around 80% of its scrap steel abroad. If UK builds more EAFs it could recycle that scrap into steel here using our lower carbon intensity electricity, and if government improved our recycling methods to reduce ‘tramp’ impurities such as copper this would provide jobs as well as higher quality recycled steel.

In summary – it is both viable and achievable for the UK to save its two sites with blast furnaces by replacing the latter with EAFs and with better recycling, and adding if need-be H-DR plants for the minority of UK’s steel specs for which steel from ore would be better.

So the best method to reduce emissions from shipping coal is to use less coal, not to mine coal here. And anyhow any “savings” in shipping emissions from shorter distances though not small, would only be about 1 to 2% of the size of the huge end-use emissions, thus would be dwarfed by the latter.

The proposed Cumbria mine would at full production add 9 million tonnes CO2e per year to global emissions from its end-use in mills with blast furnaces. That is more than double the emissions per year of Cumbria’s half-million population. These emissions figures are of international importance, and Jenrick’s failure to call in the proposal has already resulted in international criticism. This is damaging UK’s credibility as COP26 President and host, and could lead to weaker commitments to reduce emissions by other nations.

We are currently heading to cross +1.5C roundabout 2030. The UK can and must reduce most of its emissions by 2030, and this can be done with appropriate political will (sadly now lacking).

Dr Henry Adams, Kendal

(contributor of steel decarb and climate info to SLACC, XRSL, XR Cumbria, FoE, CAN and other objectors to the coalmine)

Recommended further reading:

Why Europe doesn’t need Cumbria’s coking coal | Inside track (greenallianceblog.org.uk) by Valentin Vogl who has been studying the decarbonisation of steelmaking for several years at Lund University, Sweden.

Cumbria mine: is there a technical need for new coal mines in the UK? – CREDS – thank you Valentin for tweeting that.

Steel-making news 2020 onwards, focusing on its decarbonisation| henryadamsblog (wordpress.com) bit.ly/steelnews

SLACC’s hub page on Cumbria Coal Mine Campaign – SLACC http://slacc.org.uk/campaigns/cumbria-coal-mine/

References and links ordered as they appear in the text:

Analysis: When might the world exceed 1.5C and 2C of global warming? | Carbon Brief

BEIS Minister Trevelyan blatantly lies in support of the coal mine (video on Tory MP Mark Jenkinson’s Facebook page): www.facebook.com/markianjenkinson/videos/803923733494170

Cumbria coal mine plan ‘damaging PM’s reputation’ – BBC News – Roger Harrabin.

UN: New national climate pledges will only cut emissions ‘by 2%’ over next decade | Carbon Brief

The sulphur issue: See statements (as pdf’s) from British Steel Scunthorpe and TATA Port Talbot on CumbriaCC’s website under tab “Committee Documents”: https://planning.cumbria.gov.uk/Planning/Display/4/17/9007

On saving UK’s steel jobs and UK’s steel industry: A test of mettle: Securing a future for a green UK steel industry (common-wealth.co.uk) Note that although this report makes some good points on the need for urgent change and investment in UK’s steel industry for it to survive and thrive, nonetheless I strongly disagree with the way this report pushes strongly for CCS – which would prolong the use of coal-fed Blast Furnaces (though CCCuk advises fewer coal-fed BF’s towards and beyond 2035 than at present). This report thus argues against the advice in the reports by Professor Allwood and the Materials Processing Institute (MPI), and against the “tailwinds” pathway for UK’s steel industry advised by Committee Climate Change as being the pathway for greater emissions reduction than its very compromised ‘balanced pathway’ (for ‘balanced’ read ‘compromised’ – as regards any likelihood of meeting the Paris Agreements temperature goals).

Young activists fight Cumbrian mine (theecologist.org) – Anne Harris of Coal Action Network.

Letter: Deep Coal Mining in the UK – Climate Change Committee (theccc.org.uk) links to pdf:
Lord-Deben-to-Robert-Jenrick-MP-Deep-coal-mining-in-the-UK_290121.pdf (theccc.org.uk)

bit.ly/steelnews = Steel-making news 2020 onwards, focusing on its decarbonisation | henryadamsblog (wordpress.com)
Summarizes and links to statements by for example H2GS and SSAB.

Professor Allwood’s report Steel arising pdf and a good summary here of ‘Steel Arising’, with other useful comments:
Transition to green steelmaking vital to UK industry’s long-term future, says report | Envirotec (envirotecmagazine.com) 27may19 … “The UK currently demands approximately 15m tonnes per year of steel to supply strategically vital sectors such as construction, car manufacturing and aerospace – and produces approximately 7m tonnes per year domestically. In addition, the country generates more than 10m tonnes of steel scrap every year – but less than 20% is recycled in the UK, with the rest exported mainly to Turkey, India, Spain and Pakistan for processing into relatively low-grade goods.” … “Edwina Hart MBE, Chair of the GREENSTEEL Council which commissioned the report, said: “It’s absurd that we send almost 80% of its scrap steel abroad for recycling when it is a huge – and largely untapped – national resource. The UK steel sector can create thousands of green-collar jobs in parts of the country that need them most, helping the UK to re-establish itself as a leading steelmaking nation, known for our innovation and advanced engineering skills rather than for mass production. …” …”.
Note (by Henry) that UK’s lower carbon intensity electricity than in other nations such as Turkey means that EAF’s in the UK will have lower associated upstream CO2e emissions.

“Instead of transporting coal thousands of kilometres across the ocean or building new coal mines, the UK could take a more forward-thinking approach to steel production, by increasing reuse and recycling and investing in new low carbon steelmaking technologies.” Cumbria mine: is there a technical need for new coal mines in the UK? – CREDS

On WCM emissions: WCM’s half-truth diversionary tactic re shorter shipping distances meaning savings in emissions | henryadamsblog (wordpress.com)

A letter/article emailed to the Westmorland Gazette on 1st March 2021

Bettie Riddell’s letter in WG’s 25feb issue misrepresents objectors to the coal mine on both coal imports and on the best route forwards for UK’s steel industry. Put simply – she and mine supporters push for prolonging coal-based steel-making using UK-produced coal, with the false assumption of no alternatives for decades, whereas we argue that UK steel-making can and must be decarbonised by 2035, or be left behind by changes in Europe and beyond, that will result in stranded fossil assets here.

Firstly WCM plans to export 87% of its coal, and even the 13% for the UK may be halved because of its high (polluting) sulphur content: British Steel Scunthorpe state re WCM’s coal: “the Sulphur is however higher in comparison to comparable US coals we purchase”… “Sulphur is a constraining factor which currently limits the use of the coal.” And TATA Port Talbot can only use it as part of its blend. And there is no world shortage of coking coal. Thus UK’s steel industry has no “need” for WCM’s coal.

Secondly, because steel-making contributes about 7% of the world’s energy-related CO2 emissions due mainly to its use of coal, Europe’s steel-making industry is shifting away from coal to lower carbon alternatives this decade onwards, & UK’s remaining 2 sites that use coking coal & blast furnaces must change too or face closure. Mine objectors are keen for these changes to happen with urgency not just to reduce the huge CO2e emissions but also to save steel jobs and reduce harm to people and environment from coal mines in countries from which the UK imports.

Lord Deben, Chair of UK’s Climate Change Committee, wrote to government’s Robert Jenrick (SoS MHCLG) that “Coking coal use in steelmaking could be displaced completely by 2035, using a combination of hydrogen direct reduction [H-DR] and electric arc furnace [EAF] technology to meet our recommendation that UK ore-based steelmaking be near-zero emissions by 2035.” [Hydrogen can remove the oxygen from the iron oxide in iron ore to result in H20 instead of the CO2 from using coal].

Steel firms in Europe and beyond have committed to significant reductions in carbon emissions this decade in Europe typically by 25 to 30%, and to be carbon neutral by 2050. Sweden is setting an impressive example, with the new H2GS consortium planning to produce 5 million tons per year of ‘green steel’ using H-DR by 2030 starting production in 2024, and SSAB 1 million tons per year from 2025/6 using H-DR, and also replacing 2 blast furnaces with EAFs. For more examples see bit.ly/steelnews

The UK exports around 80% of its scrap steel abroad. If UK builds more EAFs it could recycle that scrap into steel here using our lower carbon intensity electricity, and if government improved our recycling methods to reduce ‘tramp’ impurities such as copper this would provide jobs as well as higher quality recycled steel.

In summary – it is both viable and achievable for the UK to save its two sites with blast furnaces by replacing the latter with EAFs and with better recycling, and adding if need-be H-DR plants for the minority of UK’s steel specs for which steel from ore would be better.

So the best method to reduce emissions from shipping coal is to use less coal, not to mine coal here. And anyhow any “savings” in shipping emissions from shorter distances though not small, would only be about 1 to 2% of the size of the huge end-use emissions, thus would be dwarfed by the latter.

The proposed Cumbria mine would at full production add 9 million tonnes CO2e per year to global emissions from its end-use in mills with blast furnaces. That is more than double the emissions per year of Cumbria’s half-million population. These emissions figures are of international importance, and Jenrick’s failure to call in the proposal has already resulted in international criticism. This is damaging UK’s credibility as COP26 President and host, and could lead to weaker commitments to reduce emissions by other nations.

We are currently heading to cross +1.5C roundabout 2030. The UK can and must reduce most of its emissions by 2030, and this can be done with appropriate political will (sadly now lacking).

Dr Henry Adams, Kendal

(contributor of steel decarb and climate info to SLACC, XRSL, XR Cumbria, FoE, CAN and other objectors to the coalmine)

Follows from my two plus 2020 blog-posts on this subject.

feb21 Sophie Yeo refers to the items below here: Sustainable Agriculture & Ancient Oaks – Inkcap (inkcapjournal.co.uk)

23feb21 Row over UK tree-planting drive: ‘We want the right trees in the right place’ | Trees and forests | The Guardian Patrick Barkham. Refers in part to RSPB’s David Morris.

23feb21 David Morris on Twitter: “Wallshield 2 & why @ForestryComm need to improve things ecologically. A thread 🧵 https://t.co/V5AdYfyKFN” / Twitter – excellent thread by RSPB’s David Morris.

Wallshield 1 & 2: NPA Report Blank for 20 March 2013 (northumberlandnationalpark.org.uk)

ACTIONS:
Stop the Cumbria coal mine! | Global Justice Now – email Robert Jenrick.

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3mar21 Budget lacks urgency needed to tackle the climate crisis | The Independent Daisy Dunne. The coal mine is used as an example by Lab leader.

3mar21 BREAKING: Powering Past Coal Alliance Urges Faster Phaseout While Co-Founders Allow New Coal Mines – The Energy Mix

2mar21 UK accused of ‘rank hypocrisy’ over Cumbria mine as it hosts coal phase-out summit | The Independent Daisy Dunne. Includes comments by Ed Milliband, Tim Farron, Doug Parr, Tony Bosworth.

2mar21 Cancel all planned coal projects globally to end ‘deadly addiction’, says UN chief | Coal | The Guardian Damian Carrington.    All planned coal projects around the world must be cancelled to end the “deadly addiction” to the most polluting fossil fuel, the UN secretary-general António Guterres said on Tuesday.    Phasing out coal from the electricity sector is the single most important step to tackle the climate crisis, he said. Guterres’s call came at the opening of a summit of the Powering Past Coal Alliance (PPCA), a group of governments and businesses committed to ending coal burning for power.    The PPCA was founded by the UK and Canada in 2017. The UK is on track to end coal burning in power plants in 2024, but it has come under recent pressure for allowing a new coalmine to go ahead in Cumbria, which will produce coking coal for use in steel making. The UK is hosting a vital UN climate summit, Cop26, in November. …

feb21 Cumbria coal mine’s approval labelled as ‘contemptuous for the future’ by climate scientist | The Westmorland Gazette Alexander Candlin, with quotes of Catherine.

26feb21 Why the west Cumbria coal mine matters in defining who Labour & the Conservatives are now | Border | ITV News Tom Sheldrick

12feb21 Of course Cumbria’s proposed coal mine is popular locally. The government offers no green alternative | openDemocracy Rebekah Diski.

23sep20 Community fight against coal in Cumbria  | Friends of the Earth

22feb21 Government must “plug the carbon gap” in planning policy – DRILL OR DROP?

Sarah Finch, a campaigner who challenged the approval of oil production at Horse Hill in Surrey, has urged the local government secretary, Robert Jenrick, to update planning policy. In a letter, Ms Finch said current policy was hindering the ability to tackle climate change and achieve net zero emissions by 2050. She urged the minister to plug the legal and policy gap.
… She also referred in her letter to Mr Jenrick’s decision not to intervene in the granting of planning permission for a coal mine in Cumbria. Following that decision, Lord Deben, the chair of the Climate Change Committee, asked the government to provide guidance to local authorities on the climate impact of their decisions. He said it was critically important for local councillors and planning authorities to consider fully the implications of their decisions on climate targets.

Labour party hit out at Workington MP over climate “credibility” | Times and Star

https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/7126907/take-it-from-a-tory-australia-should-join-the-uk-in-embracing-net-zero/?cs=14246

19feb21 ‘It is a betrayal of younger and future generations’: South Lakes MP calls for Cumbria coal mine plans to be axed | The Westmorland Gazette Eleanor Ovens.

c.18feb21 Cumbria coal mine: What is the controversy about? – BBC News Harrabin – a good overall summary.

Coalmine plans in Cumbria and a false dilemma | Fossil fuels | The Guardian Tim Crosland

18feb21 Cumbria coal mine: Tory MPs urge council to give plans the green light – BBC News Harrabin.

14feb21 ‘I wouldn’t want my son to have to go underground like I had to’: The ex-mining families seeking a greener future | The Independent Daisy Dunne.

9feb21 Whitehaven coal mine plan to be re-examined by council – BBC News Harrabin

Poll: Cumbria coal mine – should plans be scrapped or given the go ahead? | The Engineer The Engineer

30jan21 Climate change: Minister rapped for allowing Cumbria coal mine – BBC News Harrabin re Lord Deben’s letter.

25mar19 Revealed: Planned Cumbria coal mine ultimately owned in Cayman Islands | Left Foot Forward: Leading the UK’s progressive debate Joe Lo

I’ve added a suggested variant to the infographic ‘Discourses of climate delay’ as a result of those who claim they support climate action but exaggerate hurdles and timescale for replacing certain uses of fossil fuels. This applies to some proponents of the Cumbria coal mine:

Source references for ‘Discourses of climate delay’:

Guest post: How ‘discourses of delay’ are used to slow climate action (carbonbrief.org)
https://www.carbonbrief.org/guest-post-how-discourses-of-delay-are-used-to-slow-climate-action


Discourses of climate delay | Global Sustainability | Cambridge Core
https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/global-sustainability/article/discourses-of-climate-delay/7B11B722E3E3454BB6212378E32985A7

West Cumbria Mining and its supporters have been continually highlighting the "savings" in CO2e emissions that would result from shorter shipping distances of its coking coal to steel mills in Europe (and the UK) as compared with importing coking coal from abroad such as the US. Although this would be true (if WCM don't export beyond Europe), and those emissions would certainly not be small, nonetheless they are dwarfed by the huge end-use emissions that would result from WCM's coking coal in steel-making via the BF-BOF method, and would be larger than the operational emissions:

Cumbria County Council claim the mine will be both "carbon neutral" ("broadly neutral in respect of GHG emissions") and even beneficial as regards climate impacts as a result of both emissions savings due to shorter shipping emissions as well as their assumption of 'perfect substitution':
Both these claims require the end-use emissions to be either ignored or counted as net zero as a result of CumbriaCC's core assumption of perfect substitution (i.e. 100% substitution, or very close to 99% to 100%), which means that for every tonne of coking coal WCM extracts, a mine elsewhere will leave exactly the same number of tonnes of the same grade of coal in the ground which it would have otherwise extracted. But it is impossible for CumbriaCC to guarantee their perfect substitution claim, and several respected resource economists (e.g. Professor Paul Ekins, UCL) have written statements arguing that perfect substitution cannot be assumed, and that adding lower cost coal to the European market could dis-incentivise decarbonisation and the switch to alternative steel-making methods that use very little or no coal such as Electric Arc Furnaces and Hydrogen Direct Reduction.

The above chart shows that even if there is 95% substitution (hypothetically) there will still be significant net overall emissions because the shipping savings would only be around 1% (or 1 to 2%) of the end-use emissions. And the UK and Europe have to greatly reduce emissions by 2030 including from steel-making.

Without any evidence of absolute certainty of 99 to 100% global substitution (or of any definite % substitution) there must be a start assumption that the 9 Mt pa CO2e end-use emissions will add to global emissions.

Also bear in mind that CumbriaCC have no legal powers (or monitoring capabilities) to ensure that WCM's coal, once sold to shipping co. Javelin for example) does not go beyond Europe (thus removing any savings in emissions from shorter shipping distances), or indeed is used for other purposes than steel-making. Europe's steel industry is shifting away from coal from the present decade, so if the mine went ahead, WCM or Javelin may wish to export further afield than Europe when demand in Europe declines.

WCM's figures for the amount of coal it plans to export to mainland Europe as compared with that for UK's steel mills shows it intends to export 87% of its coal to mainland Europe. But because WCM coal appears to have too high a sulphur content for British Steel at Scunthorpe*, and BS Scunthorpe produces about half of the steel UK produces from iron ore, that roughly halves the 13% to merely around 6.5%. UK steel production from iron ore thus does not depend on having WCM's coal. There is no global shortage of coking coal. There is no UK need for WCM's coal.

* British Steel Scunthorpe's letter to CumbriaCC states: re WCM coal ..."the Sulphur is however higher in comparison to comparable US coals we purchase"... "Sulphur is a constraining factor which currently limits the use of the coal."

How would the mine relate to UK's path to complying with its 6th Carbon Budget?

29jan21 Update: Climate Change Committee on Twitter: "We've published a letter to Robert Jenrick MP, Secretary of State, MHCLG, about his decision not to call in, or review, the recent decision of Cumbria County Council to grant planning permission to a new Cumbrian coal mine. More: https://t.co/jHper392tR https://t.co/jVN0I4WLGe" / Twitter

Links to: Letter: Deep Coal Mining in the UK - Climate Change Committee (theccc.org.uk) from which I quote:

Letter: Deep Coal Mining in the UK

1. Outline

This is a letter from Lord Deben, Chairman of the CCC to Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government about the decision not to call in, or review, the recent decision of Cumbria County Council to grant planning permission to a new Cumbrian coal mine.

2. Key messages

  • The opening of a new deep coking coal mine in Cumbria will increase global emissions and have an appreciable impact on the UK’s legally binding carbon budgets. The mine is projected to increase UK emissions by 0.4Mt CO2e per year. This is greater than the level of annual emissions we have projected from all open UK coal mines to 2050.
  • The decision to award planning permission to 2049 will commit the UK to emissions from coking coal, for which there may be no domestic use after 2035. 85% of the coal is planned for export to Europe.
  • It is not the CCC’s role to act as a regulator or a planning authority, but we would urge you to consider further the UK’s policy towards all new coal developments, for whatever purpose.
  • This decision also highlights the critical importance of local councillors and planning authorities considering fully the implications of their decisions on climate targets. In this regard, I would ask that we discuss the provision of guidance to local authorities.
  • It is for Ministers to decide how the effort to reach Net Zero should be allocated across the economy, but it is also important to note that this decision gives a negative impression of the UK’s climate priorities in the year of COP26.

UK's lead industrial decarbonisation analyst for UK's Climate Change Committee replies in response to question from climate scientist Professor Kevin Anderson:

Note that the CCS option would be the least preferable option for reducing CO2e emissions because of the technical difficulties of CCS achieving a high enough % capture rate, especially with an integrated coal-fed BF+BOF steelworks. The ETC state a capture rate for CCS with BF-BOF of only 60% (inadequate). A higher capture rate of 90% or above would require much more cost making the CCS route economical. Why should government pay for the CCS when there is a much better option? Especially as that would also mean continuing with coal mining which is harmful to both people and environment.

There is also a question as to whether emissions from the mine itself would comply with UK's path to its 6th Carbon Budget. SLACC's lawyer has examined CCCuk's 6th Carbon Budget documents and found the answer would be NO.

==================================================================

For more information including link to Paul Ekins' statements and letters to CumbriaCC from SLACC and its solicitors see Cumbria Coal Mine Campaign – SLACC

Steel-making news in 2020, focusing on its decarbonisation | henryadamsblog (wordpress.com)

Whitehaven coal mine: Links to relevant news items & publications | henryadamsblog (wordpress.com)

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METHODS detail: The shipping emissions savings here use figures for USA to Europe from which AECOM/WCM figures for WCM coal to Europe have been subtracted (as the US has been used for comparison by WCM).
The 2 UK steel firms using blast furnaces (BFs) for example import coking coal from other parts of the world (probably including Australia) not just the USA. So the "savings" as a % of end-use emissions would be larger if WCM coal replaced Australia coal than US coal.
But WCM's coal would be High Volatile coking coal - which is much more similar to US coking coal than Australia's coking coal. This means that if TATA Port Talbot use some of WCM's coal (about half of 13% of it), then it would be used instead of that amount of US coal not Australia coal. In consequence my calculations use only the US shipping distance savings, and the % figure in my calculations is nearer to 1% than 2%. CumbriaCC also states that it assumes WCM coal would replace US coal not Australia coal for the same reason.

as this risks a high likelihood of a net increase in carbon emissions, as well as damaging the existing peatland plant communities and other associated wildlife.

This is a blogpost that lists important relevant reference links and will be updated as more evidence comes to my attention (scroll down for these). My current suggestions (for discussion) for reducing risks of mistakes in planting location are as follows (amendable as I learn more):

By default trees should not be planted in any depth of peat because even most shallow peat (<50cm) can store more carbon per unit land area than trees, and tree-planting will both aerate the peat, oxidising the carbon to CO2, and encourage CO2-releasing activity by micro-organisms. Tree-planting in peat thus risks the resulting carbon loss from the drying peat exceeding the carbon stored by the trees.

Thus for shallow peat (<50cm) a precautionary principle approach could be taken of a presumption against planting unless there is 1. scientific evidence that the tree species considered would result in an overall net gain of stored carbon if planted in such peat, AND 2. there is certainty of no net habitat/biodiversity loss. This suggestion goes a step further from the IUCN Position Statement April 2020 v1 (see below) and I’ve suggested it to provide a possible solution to one of the “problems” that IUCN admits “remain” of “Cases of new forestry planting taking place on peatland and peat soils <50cm.”. (Forestry appears to: “Under current policy, thin peat soils below the 50cm/40cm threshold are deemed suitable for tree planting” but IUCN finds this unhelpful and problematical [I’m not surprised! (understatement)]. IUCN = International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Also, RSPB here states this as regards deep and shallow peat:
Continue to prevent tree planting on deep peat and restore afforested peatlands” 
Prevent tree planting on organo-mineral soils such as shallow peat, unless nature and carbon benefits can be demonstrated” [note the difference in presumption as cf FC’s UKFS]

And Natural England’s Chairman Tony Juniper here states: “It is now accepted that peat soils of any depth, along with their associated habitats, should generally be retained and, where degraded, restored to avoid carbon release and enhance sequestration. This will usually mean avoiding the deliberate establishment of tree cover on such habitats.” I point out in my comment that this view is not accepted by the FC in their UKFS.

DEFRA/FC here (9dec20) state “Under the UK Forestry Standard woodland creation is allowable on peat which is less than 50cm in depth.” However, and crucially, they omit adding to this sentence (or the paragraph) the conditions such as presence/absence of Priority Open Habitats under which FC elsewhere* state that this presumption to allow planting should be withheld/applied. This reveals how foresters or decision-makers can make mistakes by omitting consideration of the conditions that should be applied when using the UKFS in relation to shallow peat, and shows why altering the presumption as I have suggested may help prevent such mistakes. [* e.g. the recent FC field guide to priority open habitats and woodland creation under 26nov20 below]

With my suggested presumption against planting on shallow peat unless certain conditions are met, it is possible that exceptions could be considered in certain shallow peaty soils if research finds a net overall increase in carbon storage with certain tree species in such soils – but it is essential that change in habitat and biodiversity should also be considered (for example a change of wet heath on shallow peat to sitka plantation would very likely be a very unacceptable loss in biodiversity [don’t forget the birds such as curlew and snipe as well as the plants etc]). I.e. Priority open Habitats should not be planted.

I recommend that sites considered for tree-planting should not just be checked with relevant databases and maps but also be ground-checked by a botanist/ecologist with a 60+cm cane to check whether there is peat present and what habitat and species are there. Maps and databases cannot be assumed to show all that’s there of importance in reality (absence of recorded evidence can’t be assumed to be evidence of absence). Shallow peats may not be mapped, and not all sites have been recorded by botanists/ecologists.

This quote by the NCC / Professor Ian Bateman is apt re tree-planting: “the right trees in the right place for the right reason”

8apr20 Planting trees in wrong place ‘could increase greenhouse gas emissions’, government warned – Afforestation of unsuitable areas such as peatlands would be counterproductive, says committee, urging ‘right tree in the right place’ Harry Cockburn

7apr20 Climate change: UK forests ‘could do more harm than good’ By Roger Harrabin, BBC environment analyst

Soils and the Woodland Carbon Code – Forest Research (.gov)
https://www.forestresearch.gov.uk/research/soil-sustainability/woodland-creation-and-soil-carbon-and-nutrient-dynamics/soils-and-the-woodland-carbon-code/
via Eleanor M Harris https://twitter.com/eleanormharris
Glad to see this is being tackled but frustrating that in a linked-to results-summary ‘moorland’ is not divided into peatland and mineral soil types.

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Listed below are relevant publications including numerous showing the climate-related folly of tree-planting in peatland (and other relevant information). Some of the titles and straplines put across a clear message. (This is just an initial list, in reverse chronological order. More to add when I’ve time.)

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30nov20 Forester Luke Hemmings tweeted to me and others this recent FC guide:
26nov20 Priority open habitats and woodland creation: A field guide – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) Forestry Commission. This is helpful for avoiding planting mistakes as it describes Priority Open Habitats to leave unplanted (including summaries of Phase 1 habitat descriptions and NVC plant community descriptions). It also states the UKFS instruction regarding peat depth which is risky in my view and should be changed to be fool-proof.

18nov20 The Importance of Soil Carbon Published by Matt Hay – “Our latest Directors’ blog is by Helen Armstrong, professional ecologist and founder of Broomhill Ecology. In it, she digests important new research on carbon sequestration in afforested ecosystems, and evaluates the implications this might have on woodland expansion policy in Scotland.” …

17nov20 Transformational peatland strategy needed to tackle Scotland’s nature and climate crisis – Jess Barrett @RSPBScotland … “and tree planting on shallow peat soils continue to be permitted.”

11nov20 The Trust strongly objects to any planting of trees on peatlands, including at Berrier End “ALL remaining areas of peatland, no matter how small, should be protected from destruction and further impacts or any threats which may cause damage or loss of condition.” – Stephen Trotter, CEO Cumbria Wildlife Trust.

29oct20 Irish forestry ‘net emitter of greenhouse gases’ – FIE says ‘any hope that new afforestation can miraculously be counted to meet short-term carbon budgets is misplaced’ Kevin O’Sullivan and Sean McCarthaigh Thu, Oct 29, 2020, 17:43 Updated: Thu, Oct 29, 2020, 19:41 https://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/irish-forestry-net-emitter-of-greenhouse-gases-1.4394707

13aug20 Not seeing the carbon for the trees? Mapping net change in carbon from afforestation in Scotland
https://www.hutton.ac.uk/news/not-seeing-carbon-trees-mapping-net-change-carbon-afforestation-scotland
Refers to this paper:
2020 Not seeing the carbon for the trees? Why area-based targets for establishing new woodlands can limit or underplay their climate change mitigation benefits K.B.Matthews, DougWardell-Johnson, DaveMiller, NualaFitton, EdJones, StephenBathgate TimRandle RobinMatthews PeteSmith MikePerks. The James Hutton Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen AB15 8QH, United Kingdom, Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, 23 St Machar Drive, Aberdeen, AB24 3UU, Scotland, United Kingdom, Forest Research, Bush Estate, Roslin, EH25 9SY, United Kingdom
Received 11 March 2019, Revised 16 October 2019, Accepted 9 April 2020, Available online 30 June 2020.
Elsevier Land Use Policy Volume 97, September 2020, 104690 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264837719304041

7aug20 Climate change: UK peat emissions could cancel forest benefits By Roger Harrabin BBC environment analyst https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-53684047 Emissions from UK peatland could cancel out all carbon reduction achieved through new and existing forests, warns the countryside charity CPRE.

14jul20 Tree planting in organic soils does not result in net carbon sequestration on decadal timescales
Nina L. Friggens Alison J. Hester Ruth J. Mitchell Thomas C. Parker Jens‐Arne Subke Philip A. Wookey
First published: 14 July 2020 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gcb.15229
Referred to here:
Tree planting does not always boost ecosystem carbon stocks, study finds
 – The James Hutton Institute https://www.hutton.ac.uk/news/tree-planting-does-not-always-boost-ecosystem-carbon-stocks-study-finds

19jun20 Trees, predators and breeding waders Graham Appleton (in Wader Tales). Blogpost based on paper: Guild-level responses by mammalian predators to afforestation and subsequent restoration in a formerly treeless peatland landscape by Mark H. Hancock, Daniela Klein and Neil R. Cowie. Published in Restoration Ecology.

8apr20 Planting trees in wrong place ‘could increase greenhouse gas emissions’, government warned
Afforestation of unsuitable areas such as peatlands would be counterproductive, says committee, urging ‘right tree in the right place’ – Harry Cockburn https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/plant-trees-climate-crisis-where-greenhouse-gas-emissions-a9455671.html

7apr20 Climate change: UK forests ‘could do more harm than good’ By Roger Harrabin BBC environment analyst https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-52200045 Mass tree planting in the UK could harm the environment if not planned properly, a report warns.

April 2020 POSITION STATEMENT: Peatlands and Trees
SUMMARY OF IUCN UK PP POSITION
IUCN UK Peatland Programme v.1 April 2020
Any comments or queries relating to this position statement should be directed to info@iucn.org.uk
This finds problems with the UK Forestry Standard (UKFS) such as re shallow peat, and is well worth reading. Luke Hemmings (a professional Forester in NE England) pointed me to e.g. 6.5 p.44, p.50, 6.2 Climate Change p.70).

2dec19 Weatherwatch: restore peat bogs to fight climate change – Peat moors store far more carbon dioxide than forests, as well as helping to control flooding – Jeremy Plester https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/dec/02/weatherwatch-restore-peat-bogs-to-fight-climate-change

2019 & 2016 Impact of Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis (Bong.) Carr.) afforestation on the carbon stocks of peaty gley soils –a chronosequence study in the north of England E.I. Vanguelova*, P. Crow, S. Benham, R. Pitman, J. Forster, E.L. Eaton and J.I.L. MorisonForest Research, Alice Holt Lodge, Farnham GU10 4LH, UK*Corresponding author: E-mail: elena.vanguelova@forestresearch.gov.uk Received 23 September 2016 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/312525381_Impact_of_Sitka_spruce_afforestation_on_the_carbon_stocks_of_peaty_gley_soils_-_a_chroncsequence_study_in_the_north_of_England
via Eleanor M Harris https://twitter.com/eleanormharris who advises that “One thing to note is it only looks at soil carbon, not tree biomass at all.”

2008, Published 2012 Understanding the carbon and greenhouse gas balance of forests in Britain – Forestry Commission, by James Morison, Robert Matthews, Gemma Miller, Mike Perks, Tim Randle, Elena Vanguelova, Miriam White and Sirwan Yamulki – pdf downloadable from https://www.forestresearch.gov.uk/research/understanding-the-carbon-and-greenhouse-gas-balance-of-forests-in-britain/ Sections re peatlands include:
4.8.3 Soil C changes with afforestation on organic soils (pp69-70)
4.8.4 GHG fluxes and peatland afforestation (pp70-71)

Lindsay, R. 2010. Peatbogs and carbon: a critical synthesis to inform policy development in oceanic peat bog conservation and restoration in the context of climate change. University of East London, Environmental Research Group. https://repository.uel.ac.uk/item/862y6 Funder: RSPB
Figure 21b (and 21a) compares carbon storage of peat per ha with Sitka Spruce per ha:




A few years ago I wrote this pdf: Economic growth and climate change which is a collation of links to excellent papers arranged under clear section headings.
It stayed at a late draft stage as I was stopped from making it a final as I had to suddenly stop to look after my aged parents who suddenly needed help (with bad timing for that pdf). Nonetheless it is I hope useful if its date is taken into account and new papers since then are also read as updates (or at least their summaries or abstracts). Some of these updates are below:
This living blogpost is in note form as I have no time at present to organize it. But it has very useful links.
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The wider context within which degrowth vs growthism needs assessing:

Firstly why degrowth is necessary, … [We are consuming and emitting/ polluting beyond planetary boundaries thus unsustainable]

Secondly what is sufficiency and will it fit within planetary boundaries.

Thirdly we need to work out what is of value – the COV-19 crisis has helped highlighted what matters of value, and it isn’t measured by the neoclassical yardsticks of market price/ current wages:

Ian Gough: 28apr20 In times of climate breakdown, how do we value what matters?The coronavirus has shown us who the key workers are. We need a new theory of value if we are to face an even bigger threat.”
And also what is possible within planetary boundaries i.e. ‘living well within limits’ – ‘sufficiency’ (e.g. empirical work by Julia Steinberger and others working this out).

Fourthly we need a money-creation system different to that we have now, because the present system is a GDP-growth-demanding system. Positive Money tackles this topic: https://positivemoney.org/

BTW: I put Green Growth in “” because empirical evidence indicates that the meaning used by those promoting this term cannot be achieved as truly green in terms of being sustainable as regards climate/environment and resource use. See Hickel & Kallis (2019) below.

NB Degrowth is aimed at developed countries such as in Europe and North America (i.e. ‘Western’ countries) not developing and poor countries such as in the ‘Global South’ which have relatively low consumption and a higher percentage of people in poverty. Note that because developed countries consume a high percentage of their consumption from resources extracted from the global South – degrowth of the former will affect the latter (potentially beneficially in terms of wellbeing attributes).

Follow e.g. Jason Hickel @jasonhickel Giorgos Kallis @g_kallis Federico Demaria, Julia Steinberger @JKSteinberger Kate Raworth, … @R_Degrowth @DegrowthTalks

Jason Hickel has brought out a new book (so too has Giorgios Kallis):
Less is MoreHow Degrowth Will Save the World

This may be useful: degrowth.info @Degrowth_info on twitter – Web portal presenting research and news on #degrowth and #postgrowth Managed by @r_mastini, @Schnecken_Post, and @joefherb. Planet Earth degrowth.info/en/ Joined January 2013

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A useful summary abstract:

17apr19 Is Green Growth Possible? Jason Hickel & Giorgos Kallis [pdf link here via JH tweet] To cite this article: Jason Hickel & Giorgos Kallis (2019): Is Green Growth Possible?, New Political Economy, DOI: 10.1080/13563467.2019.1598964 To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/13563467.2019.1598964
ABSTRACT
The notion of green growth has emerged as a dominant policy response to
climate change and ecological breakdown. Green growth theory asserts
that continued economic expansion is compatible with our planet’s
ecology, as technological change and substitution will allow us to
absolutely decouple GDP growth from resource use and carbon
emissions. This claim is now assumed in national and international
policy, including in the Sustainable Development Goals. But empirical
evidence on resource use and carbon emissions does not support green
growth theory. Examining relevant studies on historical trends and
model-based projections, we find that: (1) there is no empirical evidence
that absolute decoupling from resource use can be achieved on a global
scale against a background of continued economic growth, and (2)
absolute decoupling from carbon emissions is highly unlikely to be
achieved at a rate rapid enough to prevent global warming over 1.5°C
or 2°C, even under optimistic policy conditions. We conclude that green
growth is likely to be a misguided objective, and that policymakers need
to look toward alternative strategies.

8jul19 Decoupling debunked: Why green growth is not enough EEB.

15aug19 Green growth is trusted to fix climate change – here’s the problem with that  PhD Candidate in Ecological Economics, University of Surrey.

4dec20 Green growth vs degrowth: are we missing the point? | openDemocracy Beth Stratford. Recommended read by Kate Raworth. Her tweet: @KateRaworth ‘In the long-running debate of green growth vs degrowth, @beth_stratford is now bringing uncommon clarity and sense. Read this excellent blog.’

Jason Hickel podcast ‘Less is more’ for XR 18may20
Review of Hickel’s new book ‘Less is more’: The Urgent Case for Shrinking the Economy | The New Republic

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1. Why is degrowth necessary?

16july20 ‘Green Economic Growth’ Is a Myth There are ‘no realistic scenarios’ to make the economic growth demanded by capitalism compatible with a safe climate, researchers who advised the United Nations found. NA By Nafeez AhmedThe green growth advocates highlight increasing efficiencies, but: “Within the wider system these efficiencies are enabling us to consume even greater quantities of resources overall.” … “Combing through 179 of the best studies of this issue from 1990 to 2019 further reveals “no evidence” that any meaningful decoupling has ever taken place.” … “In two new, peer-reviewed research papers published in June, their analysis goes further. Capitalism’s drive for maximising profits means that the economy is structured around continued economic growth: if it doesn’t grow, it collapses. This means that huge technological efficiencies tend to empower capitalism to grow faster and bigger.” … …
… “Yet the authors conclude that many of the accounting measures used to conclude that decoupling is happening systematically obscure or exclude critical data. “The existence of decoupling in a bounded geographical area or economic sector does not, as such, mean that decoupling is happening in a wider context,” argued the BIOS team: “Well-known and widely studied phenomena such as Jevons’ paradox, rebound, and outsourcing show that sectoral and local decoupling can co-exist with and even depend on increased environmental impact and increased resource use outside the analysed geographical or sectoral unit,” they wrote.” … “The study reviewed 179 scientific studies on decoupling published between 1990 and 2019 and found, in short, that: “… the evidence does not suggest that decoupling towards ecological sustainability is happening at a global (or even regional) scale.””

19jun20 Capitalism is destroying ‘safe operating space’ for humanity, warn scientists Nafeez Ahmed, referring to e.g.:

19jun20 Scientists’ warning on affluence Thomas Wiedmann, Manfred Lenzen, Lorenz T. KeyßerJulia K. Steinberger Nature Communications volume 11, Article number: 3107 (2020)

2. What is sufficiency and will it fit within planetary boundaries?

A Good Life For All Within Planetary Boundaries https://goodlife.leeds.ac.uk/

Recent empirical studies at Leeds University (e.g. by Professor Julia Steinberger and colleagues) support a need for degrowth in wealthy/developed countries.

I’ll add such refs when I have time, such as:

Julia Steinberger @JKSteinberger tweet:
Have you seen my paper showing the relative lack of effect of GDP growth on life expectancy, for instance? Would be interesting to apply this approach to GDP growth on poverty/deprivation, also as a way of separating correlation from causality. 
Your money or your life? The carbon-development paradox
– Steinberger et al. (2020)
Abstract concludes: “… Facing this carbon-development paradox requires prioritizing human well-being over economic growth.”

Is growth necessary? Living Well within Planetary Limits project – Global Gathering Session on Degrowth 14/11/2020 – Professor Julia Steinberger, Institute of Geography and Sustainability, University of Lausanne, Switzerland. A 9 page slide presentation on google-drive as part of her oral presentation for the ‘COP26 Coalition”s ‘From the Ground Up’ Zoom conference.

27mar18 FoE (Friends of the Earth) in 2018 produced a publication on Sufficiency: Moving beyond the gospel of eco-efficiency also discussed here: https://foeeurope.org/sufficiency-in-depth

3. Is the Green New Deal concept, or any version(s) of it, compatible with degrowth?

Julia Steinberger on 14nov20 provided this quick response:

From Julia Steinberger to Everyone:
Elena Hofferberth wrote a really good blog on GND & degrowth 
https://www.resilience.org/stories/2019-05-21/a-green-new-deal-beyond-growth-ii-some-steps-forward/ 
and Riccardo Mastini is very prolific on this topic in general 
https://www.degrowth.info/en/2019/05/a-green-new-deal-beyond-growth/


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15sep20 Governments must ‘change the way the economy works’ after Covid-19, says new OECD-commissioned report SPERI Uni of Sheffield
Governments must change the way the economy works in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new report commissioned by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Beyond Growth: Towards a New Economic Approach was written by Michael Jacobs, Professorial Fellow at SPERI, on behalf of an international Advisory Group including Bank of England Chief Economist Andy Haldane, Professor Mariana Mazzucato and Lord Robert Skidelsky. It was commissioned by the OECD’s Secretary-General Angel Gurria, as part of the OECD’s New Approaches to Economic Challenges Initiative. The report warns that the dominant patterns of economic growth in OECD countries have generated ‘significant harms’ over recent decades – including rising inequality and catastrophic environmental degradation.
It calls for a paradigm shift in the way developed countries approach economic policy – so that instead of focusing on gross domestic product (GDP), they prioritise environmental sustainability, improving wellbeing, reducing inequality and strengthening economic resilience.
The report calls for these goals to be built into the structures of the economy from the outset, rather than hoped for as a by-product, or added after the event. It argues that this will require a new role for the state, with governments becoming more entrepreneurial, seeking to shape markets and steer the process of economic change, not simply correcting market failures. This “new kind of social contract” would transform the relationship between the state, business, civil society and citizens. …

16may20 openDemocracy @openDemocracy tweeted:
NEW: A manifesto signed by 1,000 scientists, experts, artists, and activists calls for #Degrowth as a remedy for the corona crisis, social problems, and ecological destruction. Signatories incl: @GeorgeMonbiot, @jasonhickel, @JKSteinberger, @CaroRackete
13may20 Degrowth: new roots for the economy As long as our economy is dependent on growth, a recession will be devastating. Instead we need a planned, sustainable, and equitable downscaling of the economy. Degrowth New Roots Collective 13 May 2020

11may20 Our recovery from this crisis must put people and environment ahead of economic growth Caroline Lucas MP and Clive Lewis MP. “As we rebuild after the pandemic, it’s time to embrace a post-growth economy and build a fairer, healthier, happier and greener society, write Green MP Caroline Lucas and Labour MP Clive Lewis. …”

Positive Money emailed: “It’s official: the public wants to prioritise quality of life over GDP growth. Our poll published in The Guardian and Daily Mail yesterday showed 8 out of 10 people want the government to prioritise health and wellbeing over economic growth during the coronavirus crisis – and 6 out of 10 still want to even when this pandemic ends.
This news caused a storm online. Over 55,000 people saw it on Reddit and commentator George Monbiot even tweeted saying: “This is an extraordinary result, suggesting people are ready for a massive change in the way we measure and achieve well-being. It’s the best news I’ve seen for a long time. …”

11may20 Today Positive Money launched its reportTragedy of Growth by David Barmes et al. “which highlights the false promises of growth including poverty alleviation and enhancing life satisfaction – to get these things we have to focus on them (there are no shortcuts)” [I quote PM’s Fran Boait]. Also on 11may Positive Money held an interesting online discussion of the topic The end of growth? Should our Covid-19 recovery prioritise GDP growth? (rewatch on Facebook).

10may20 Britons want quality of life indicators to take priority over economy – Polls finds majority would like ministers to prioritise health and wellbeing over GDP during coronavirus crisis – Fiona Harvey. “A YouGov poll has found eight out of 10 people would prefer the government to prioritise health and wellbeing over economic growth during the coronavirus crisis, and six in 10 would still want the government to pursue health and wellbeing ahead of growth after the pandemic has subsided, though nearly a third would prioritise the economy instead at that point.”

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Here I copy a ref list from the #NoBackToNormal Degrowth Talks on 29apr20, which included among others Julia Steinberger and Federico Demaria: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmCKKbgBcHM

Julia Steinberger provides a brilliant insightful introduction to the subject of degrowth, zooming inwards on the subject from the wider context including the dark powers at work, and from a viewpoint of her empirical work of what sort of a life of wellbeing (with sufficiency) can fit within planetary boundaries.
She starts speaking at 4:21 after being introduced. Also worth shifting later on to her answers to Q’s

RESOURCES

Steinberger – Pandenomics, a story of life versus growth https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/oureconomy/pandenomics-story-life-versus-growth/

Pirgmaier & Steinberger – Roots Riots and Radical Change https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/11/7/2…

Ecological Economics Reading List https://www.scribd.com/document/39064…

Saave-Harnack, Dengler & Muraca – Feminisms and Degrowth – Alliance or Foundational Relation? http://globaldialogue.isa-sociology.o…

Kothari, Escobar, Salleh, Demaria & Acosta – Can the coronavirus save the planet? https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/oure…

Kothari, Demaria & Acosta – Buen Vivir, Degrowth and Ecological Swaraj: Alternatives to sustainable development and the Green Economy https://drive.google.com/file/d/14RVlKxqTwOsYlvGt3FC9AzE_zbkMa1jw/view

Kothari, Salleh, Escobar, Demaria & Acosta – Pluriverse: A post-development dictionary https://drive.google.com/file/d/1NEcO…

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Giorgios Kallis on degrowth: his twitter summary.

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Growth is a ‘leverage point’ for system change:

Leverage Points: Places to Intervene in a System – Donella Meadows Academy for Systems Change – referred to by Nafeez Ahmed.

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30apr20 Julia Steinberger creates a twitter thread against growthism.
https://twitter.com/JKSteinberger/status/1255795648575791104

27apr20 Jason Hickel creates a twitter thread starting “We need to clear something up about degrowth. Reducing energy demand is *not* sufficient, in itself, to get emissions to zero. That would be an absurd approach. What we need is a rapid rollout of clean energy. The point of degrowth is to make that transition easier to achieve.”

Other tweets:

Julia Steinberger: Degrowth is [intrinsically] anti-capitalist.
“there is no empirical evidence to support green growth as” [being compatible with environmental limits i.e. of being green / environmentally sustainable].
JS talks re the GND – is pushed by activism thus helping change the agenda.
wellbeing alliances – at least they are making step of putting wellbeing as a major part of the politicoeconomic scene (even if they havent taken all the steps of degrowth) – and weve seen how this has helped in their response to cov-19 [e.g. Adern in NewZealand]

Federico on ‘sustainable development’ – is mainstream twisting the meaning (a bit like ‘green growth’)
Federico – with his pluriverse thinking – degrowth is not the only answer as it depends on eg which country you are in

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Hickel spoke on Newsnight’s ‘Viewsnighthttps://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-40869867/viewsnight-our-addiction-to-economic-growth-is-killing-us

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https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/may/10/britons-want-quality-of-life-indicators-priority-over-economy-coronavirus

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Looking at growth starting with climate viewpoint:

8jun20 ‘Collapse of civilisation is the most likely outcome’: top climate scientists The world’s most eminent climate scientists and biologists believe we’re headed for the collapse of civilisation, and it may already be too late to change course. By Asher Moses in Voice of Action, Australia. Refers to statements by Will Steffen, Schellnhuber, Rockstrom re climate tipping points and Steffen vs growth etc.

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More refs/links in reverse chronological order (most recent at top)

6jul20 Green economic growth is an article of ‘faith’ devoid of scientific evidence Crack team that advised UN Global Sustainable Development Report settle a longstanding debate with hard empirical data Nafeez Ahmed